Escargot from Indonesia © Jonathan Blaustein
I grew up scouring Saturday morning garage sales for Archie comics lonnng before Kevin Keller got married while Archie dabbled in divorce. The best part - $1.00 bought four double digests or even 10 (!) regular comics. One whole dollar won't even buy 4 songs on one of those new fangled digital juke boxes these days. Why, yes, carmudgeon is in fact my word of the day. I'm blamin it on the rain.
Most people are bargain hunters - chasing the illusory ideal of less money for more value. I'm raising my hand right now...and putting it back down to finish typing. The exception to that rule is my husband who will buy the $5 eggs if it means he has to spend a minute less in a shopping establishment.
After my first Art History class I mentioned to a friend that I thought there needed to be an Art History class for the layman - you know, something that strips the jargon and makes art accessible. He shook his head and said, no, no art is supposed to be exclusive and hard to understand - that's what makes it art. I ordered another beer.
Many art events present themselves as experiments in exclusivity. Sneak preview, private audience, closed door tour - implying that you, too, should be one of the few rather than the many. I'm all for limited edition pieces but limited access seems to widen the gap between I want that on my wall and why bother.